Gitmo photos won't be released

| Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 8:42 p.m.

NEW YORK — The government does not have to release photographs and dozens of videotapes of a Saudi citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the investigation of the 9/11 attacks, a judge ruled Friday after concluding they don't depict illegal conduct, evidence of mistreatment or potential sources of governmental embarrassment.

Authorities have said Mohammed al-Qahtani narrowly missed being one of the 9/11 hijackers when he was denied entry into the United States at an Orlando airport a month before the 2001 attacks. Charges against him were dropped.

The Center for Constitutional Rights sued the Departments of Defense and Justice and the CIA last year in Manhattan, saying the release of videotapes and photographs of his interrogation would be in the public interest.

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, who reviewed a government summary of the videotapes, said the images were properly classified secret because it was “both logical and plausible that extremists” would use them to incite anti-American sentiment, raise funds and recruit loyalists.

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